Ulysses

Ulysses, Tender Is The Night, John Adams, and Innocents Abroad were my planned books for the month. I marked John Adams off my list and then the coronavirus became a huge event, as it still is, and I got distracted as I started Tender Is The Night. Something about dear “Rosemary Hoyt’s” callow days on the beach as she wickedly and narcissistically longs to seduce Dick Diver (a.k.a F. Scott Fitzgerald) didn’t appeal to me as the world collectively seemed to be struggling with death and disease or losing their minds about toilet paper or what have you. Ironic too considering that when it was published during the Great Depression it had a similar effect on its readers. Maybe there’s some dark humor there actually on second thought…

I’ll finish it someday again.

Then I gave up for the month. There was no way I was going to finish the other two before the end of March. Also, the library is closed indefinitely of course so I’ll have to do with the books I have. I had visited the library but I’ll run out of books on my list by the end of May or June. So, I’m using some books I have and I’m reducing the size of my list due to stress. Here’s my revised 2020 list:

Already read is indicated by an *

1. Grey of Falloden by George Macaulay Trevelyan

2. Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott

3. Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd C. Douglas

4. A Feast of Words: The Triumph of Edith Wharton

5. Lost Destiny: Joe Kennedy Jr. and the Doomed WWII Mission to Save London by Alan Axelrod

6. Seven Plays by George Bernard Shaw

7. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

8. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

9. Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M. M. Blume *

10. Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn *

11. Paradise Lost by John Milton

12. Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

13. The Golden Bowl by Henry James *

14. Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz

15. Dubliners by James Joyce *

16. Ulysses by James Joyce *

17. Intellectuals and Race by Thomas Sowell

18. Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

19. Hillbilly Elegy: Memory of a family and a Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

20. The American by Henry James *

21. Museum of the Missing: A History of Art Theft by Simon Haupt

22. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

23. An Unfinished Woman: A Memoir by Lillian Hellman

24. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway *

25. From Fjord to Prairie Or, in the New Kingdom by Simon Johnson (my paternal Great Grand Uncle)

26. John Adams by David McCullough*

27. Tender is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

28. Nicholas Goade, Detective by E. Phillips Oppenheimer

29. The Light of Western Stars by Zane Grey

30. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

31. Stairs of Sand by Zane Grey

32. Shadow on the Trail by Zane Grey

33. Heritage of the Desert by Zane Grey

Chanel no. 19 (Repost)

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I found my bottle of vintage Chanel no. 19 edt. on eBay from a seller who’s mother owned a department store.  She apparently had tons of samples from decades ago and I have been enjoying my bottle of authentic, well-preserved vintage Chanel no. 19 all day.  Some say that vintage bottles are weary, broken and unusable.  I say, there’s nothing like a good bottle of vintage perfume.  There’s nothing bruised in my bottle of no. 19.  🙂

Chanel no. 19 (Chanel 1970*) is a wild perfume, and the edt. version from the 1980’s is true to that soul.  It’s a perfectly executed mixture of a 1970’s, earthy, edgy aesthetic (think Taxi Driver with Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster from 1976) and classic 1920’s Chanel perfumes, which produces a daring and elegant concoction of old and new.  It speaks of being honestly yourself but also embracing change – allowing for the same but creating anew. The perfume was named no. 19 due to the fact that Coco Chanel’s birthday was August 19th and it was created by Henri Robert for Chanel when she was in her last years of life.

*found on: Fragrantica

I also wore the dress I found while antiquing recently.  I was told it was most likely from the 70’s when I purchased it, but right from the start I kept seeing 1930’s touches.   After wearing it I was even more convinced it was from the 30’s – there was something about it’s shape, the way it draped and even the design around the shoulders that looked so 1930’s to me. I suppose some might say the colors are very 70’s, but the 30’s used those colors too…  Anyway, after doing a little more looking I saw a tag saying it was acrylic and then the wondering ceased – acrylic fabric wouldn’t be from the 30’s…  So, to me, it’s 70’s does 30’s which is perfect for wearing Chanel no. 19.

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DSC07141 (2) Mikimoto pearl stud earrings, vintage 70’s dress, Cole Haan leather sandals
DSC07125 (2) My husband thought heels would look good with the dress, so I tried that too…

Mantrap (Repost)

2014-12-30 18.10.58 (2)Mantrap (Hové Parfumeur 1930’s) is a very flowery, musky, intensely vintage fragrance.  According to Hové, Mantrap is a, “…heavy oriental..” with, “heavy resinous notes…”  but I think it’s a bit more crisp and almost green than that description allows.  I also experience it as  more of a floral chypre than an oriental, but they, of course, are the experts and have the full list of notes…  I just feel like Mantrap has more of an aromatic, spicy floral complexity that is more Aromatics Elixir than Shalimar, especially at first.  However, that could just be a trick of my chemistry and relative inexperience.

In any case, it’s a very unique, beautiful perfume.  It has great sillage, and decent longevity.  I will never tire of recommending Hové Parfumeur…  Never.

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Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation has received numerous raving reviews and is quite popular.  It supposedly is a special sort of foundation that works small miracles.  I was fortunate enough to receive the above pictured sample from Sephora a while back…  And, to be blunt, I’m not impressed.  Based on my experience it doesn’t seem any better than almost any other high end foundation I’ve ever used.  Matter of fact, I can think of three companies that make foundations I like more (Clinique, Chanel and Lancôme).  So, needless to say, I will not be purchasing Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.  Maybe it has something to do with my skin though?  Who knows…  If you’re curious, of course I recommend trying it for yourself.

2015-04-16 12.00.01Dior Diorshow Mascara is pretty fantastic.  This mascara lives up to the hype.  It thickens my lashes considerably, lengthens them and adds definition.  Essentially, this mascara is basically perfect, except it does flake the tiniest bit and that’s sort of annoying, but it’s so darn good otherwise that I almost don’t care.  It smells good too…  I might not say that it’s the best mascara ever, but it has to be one the best.  Definitely.  I may very well buy it again.  And again.

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Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat was a total disappointment.  It caused breakouts and didn’t do a thing to “highlight” my skin the way it is supposed to.  I also tried using it as concealer and that wasn’t terrible, but again, it caused my skin to erupt in tiny pimples – not pretty.  I know a lot of people love this product, but I would never recommend it, especially if you have skin that still has the occasional pimple.  I think that the attached brush is part of the problem because unless you remember to clean it with your other brushes it just keeps getting more grimy every time you use it (of course).  Ugh.

—-

This week I’m looking forward to a visit from my in-laws.  I’ll be making a linguini with white clam sauce, my husband will make fresh bread and we’ll have blueberry pie for dessert.  And, on Sunday I’ll be attending a family wedding.  I’m already planning what to wear…  I’m thinking a vintage lavender dress with sandals, and a matching Schiaparelli rainbow tourmaline crystal bracelet and necklace would be best.  We’ll see.

At any rate, I don’t have much to say today that’s of a personal nature, but again, and as always, thank you for reading…  🙂

Rainy Blue (Repost)

Tonight we’re having spaghetti.  Simply put, it’s easy to make and it tastes good.  Sometimes I’m ready to really cook, but tonight not so much…

It got super complicated trying to find an antique dealer nearby who was interested and who would be able to take our cabinet soon enough.  So, we decided to keep it, and I’m kind of glad about that. 

I really like our mahogany, 1940s, secretarial hutch that we were intending to sell.  We just had to take the top half down and put it in a closet to make it safer for our son – I was worried it would fall over…  It’s much safer without the top attached.

DSC06598 (2) Our cabinet at the old place

Anyway, with all the moving, and rearranging, it’s a spaghetti night.  Just in case you were wondering, it’s a Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Marinara based meat sauce with Trader Joe’s spaghetti noodles.  🙂

Before it became a spaghetti night it was a rainy fall day.   I love rainy days.

For this rainy fall day I wore green J. Crew rain boots, a chambray J. Crew jacket, a navy blue Old Navy dress, and a blue and green cotton scarf from Macy’s.  I also wore Armani Code for Women, by Giorgio Armani.  Code was the perfect scent for such a rainy day.  I feel like it’s a clean, sweet and pleasant smelling fragrance.

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Experimenting with the camera Experimenting with the camera – my husband and son in the background.
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You know, one thing I’ve definitely realized from our most recent moving experience is that if we ever move to the UK we’ll have our hands full deciding what to keep…  And, if we decide to sell anything, we’ll start months before.

Until Friday.  🙂

Fascinator (Repost)

2014-12-30 18.11.49 (2)Fascinator by Hové Parfumeur of New Orleans, Louisiana (Hové Parfumeur) is a largely green, strong, oak moss fragrance but I would guess there’s some jasmine and ylang-ylang,  bergamot and lemon as well.  It’s a bit indolic, earthy and a little sweet with what I believe to be orange blossom and what is certainly musk.   In the drydown it’s still a sharp, slightly bitter scent but there’s a hint of warmth and gentleness to balance the feisty notes. Perhaps those are notes of sandalwood and patchouli.

Fascinator is a part of Hové’s luxury line of women’s fragrances.  It has excellent longevity and discreet but noticeable sillage.

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Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation is easily one of the best foundations I’ve ever tried.   I wasn’t expecting to like it  since I’m not a big fan of the Touche Eclat, but, Fusion Ink Foundation is lovely.  It sits on the skin but not in a bad way…   It’s more like a soft veil that covers the skin ever so gently with a dewy, natural quality.  It doesn’t seem to irritate the skin or accentuate fine lines either.  When I’m in the market for a new foundation this may well be what I pick…

And there.  I did it.  I finally posted a Monday post…   It’s been weeks since I’ve done any product reviews.  I know this week I only reviewed one product, but I’ll get back into the swing of things…

How was your weekend?

Chanel No. 5 Extrait

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I found a bottle of vintage Chanel No. 5 Extrait at an antique store a few months ago.  I thought this weekend was a good time to take it out and use it.  Vintage Chanel No. 5 Extrait smells like Chanel No 5, however it is also richer, more creamy, smokey, intense and yet amazingly delicate.  In fact, the drydown was the most delicate and vibrant I’ve ever smelled Chanel No. 5.  Actually, I think I like the extrait version of Chanel No. 5 the best…

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According to a website devoted to helping a person figure out the age of their Chanel bottle, I believe my bottle of Chanel No. 5 extrait is from between 1924 and 1950.  For being that old it’s surprisingly well intact in every sense, so I only used a bit on my wrist because it would have felt wrong to use more.  However, it had fantastic sillage anyway and great longetivity.

I also wore my “regular” attire this weekend.  It’s fun to be free with accessories but not have to think too deeply about clothes when one is stressed.

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Schiaparelli gold tone watch Schiaparelli gold tone watch (vintage – needs to be fixed a bit too)

But, tonight is Downton Abbey anyway so…  🙂

The Chaos and Some Meaningful Frivolity

Have I had the virus? Possibly. I’ve had some odd symptoms that may have been Covid-19. I don’t know. It’s terrifying. Isn’t it?

Regardless, we’ve been careful in regard to social distancing and I can only hope for the best. As much as they keep reporting on young people dying it’s still primarily a disease that affects older members of the world more. Sorry, if you’re around 60 or older and reading this, but you’re the folks I’m concerned about most. I can only hope I’m one of the fortunate younger people who don’t get that sick. And we really have tried to be careful.

I’ll keep reposting my old fragrance reviews. But other than that and the occasional update, such as posts about books, I’ll probably be mostly quiet. I want to be careful not to add more noise to the chaos on this blog.

My Launer Traviata will be posted in the next few weeks as it was custom made and it took time to finish. I’ll post a photo of it and my husband has decided I need a trench anyway so I’ll post a photo of that too. My “usables”. The permanent parts of my wardrobe. Ha! *smile*

And anyway, I really could use the trench. It’s been rainy and chilly here and if I go outside in our yard at least or to the grocery store it’s useful. (Limited places due to Covid-19) Very practical. He also has procured a wedding ring from Weir & Sons and the engagement ring is an emerald cut emerald from the US. They suit my “…objectively refined, elegant and timeless beauty” as he described it. And, like an emerald, my lack of guile and conceit about my beauty both outward and inward makes me more vulnerable to the those who wish me harm but also adds character. I suspect these rings will be till death do us part. I don’t think I’ll post photos of them on this blog however.

My trench

And that’s the last you’ll see about any of my Earthly possessions other than the post about the bag because you’ve all been waiting for the “forever bag” for a while. It took time.

I honestly care a heck of a lot about what’s going on. And, you’ll all be in my prayers hater or not.

Take care until later.

Parure (Repost)

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Parure (Guerlain 1975) is dense and tumultuous green florals laced with bergamot that meet a spicy purple plum. Glamorous rose and jasmine mix with sleek iris and the grounding, enduring oakmoss is heroic. Amber finds patchouli into the drydown.

This is a heady but still springlike scent. Very romantic and very lovely.

Top notes: plum, fruity notes, green notes, bergamot and citruses.   Middle notes: orris root, narcissus, lilac, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, and rose.  Base notes: oakmoss, patchouli, amber, leather, and spices.

Nose: Jean-Paul Guerlain

For Fish

I’ve come to realize that there are three types of people in the world. There are the people who ingest fish tank anti-parasite cholorquine because they don’t know any better, the people who use that kind of tragic ignorance and stupidity for personal gain or self-aggrandizement, and the people who stand by and watch in sincere repulsion.

Let’s take an American classic: The Great Gatsby. The character ingesting the fish medicine? Gatsby. Poor, dear, foolish Gatsby. The media sources using one occasion of desperate stupidity to totally vilify a potentially life saving drug in the current pandemic? Daisy and Jay. Those of us who stand by and watch, nauseated by the grand spectacle of evil? Nick Carraway.

Hydroxychloroquine is a brilliant drug that currently saves lives and has saved countless other lives for generations. It’s not just some hocus pocus nonsense as some would have us believe. The thing is…it’s extremely potent. You can overdose over time or all at once. And it has to be administered very intelligently. You can’t just add it to your soda… You can’t use your fish medicine version of it safely.

Good God.

It’s tragic that Tom and Daisy don’t have the capacity to understand the brilliant intricacy of the world around them or take the time to notice. Or it’s tragic they can’t appreciate beauty that isn’t theirs to command? Respect any intelligence that they don’t posses. And that those who worship them follow along seemingly blindly to their own demise.

Note: You always have to think for yourself. You can choose to just trust people too, but that should also be a conscious choice in a lot of situations.

Some absolute genius people who were trying to save true heroes invented a fantastic drug in the 1940’s (and eventually we had its derivative Hydroxycholorquine) that we can still use with care and precaution today. Care and precaution. Care and precaution. Two essentials in medicine that make many other potentially lethal chemicals and instruments used to save lives safe and necessary.

But no… Daisy has to have her way at the expense of Myrtle, Gatsby, Nick and probably eventually her child. So, let’s just stand back and let Tom and Daisy keep lying to us and using us. *rolling eyes* It’s all a just wicked game to people who have little empathy and no sense of the genuine existence of others. They should be ignored, at the very least. Tom and Daisy need attention.

And that my dears is why Trump might very well win the US Presidency again. People have come to loathe the Buchanans.

They’re beautiful. They sometimes are able to seem elegant and they easily convince many of their supremacy including (to some degree) Fitzgerald, the actual author himself. But not everyone falls for it.

I have some very significant qualms with Trump but I can’t stand Tom and Daisy. And the good news is they can’t stand folks like me either. *smile*

Lady Delene Cologne (Repost)


This rare vintage (Delene Products Chicago unknown) starts earthy, slightly sweet and herbal with kicky citrus, and sharp, soapy florals. I’d bet there’s bergamot, lavender, carnation, and geranium. And perhaps lily, violet, ylang ylang, honeysuckle (?) and then almost certainly sandalwood and vetiver to close. Do I also smell sage, benzoin, tonka and musk? At any rate, the drydown is a pipe tobacco smoky, sandalwood and vanillic gem… And yet it’s still crisp and very vintage “clean and fresh.